December 13, 2018  

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Southern Miss Doctoral Students Earn Internships at Adidas Headquarters

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University of Southern Mississippi doctoral students Dave Krzeminski and Nadine Lippa earned internships at Adidas headquarters in Germany.

Krzeminski and Lippa presented their research in the United Kingdom at the 2014 Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association (ISEA). After presenting, they were approached by the senior director of engineering at Adidas, Tim Lucas, and asked on the spot if they were interested in completing a six-month internship at the world headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

“He was sitting in the audience, and the high quality of our talks must have prompted him to come right down to the stage and ask us,” said Krzeminski of Grandville, Mich. “Our oral presentations were pseudo-interviews, and because we nailed them, we got the offers.”

The internship, or “postgraduate placement” (PGP), is with the Adidas Future Engineering team. The PGP internship lasts six months and is awarded internationally to students at the end of their undergraduate or graduate studies, with the hopes of the experience transitioning into a full-time position.

Only two to three PGP interns are selected each year from the 100-200 students that apply.

Krzeminski completed his PGP internship at the end of November. Lippa started in October and will conclude her internship at the end of April 2016.  Lippa is working on footwear and apparel projects for running and other sports.

“I’ll be working on simulations, material and mechanical testing,” said Lippa of Bergen, N.Y. “One exciting aspect of my new position is that I will be trained in the core competency of finite analysis training, which allows us to simulate different loads placed on specific materials and products.”

Lippa said her doctoral research, predicting the degradation of footwear materials, aligns closely with the projects she is working on at Adidas. Her arrival at Adidas was highly anticipated, as she was awarded the Adidas Footwear Prize for the top footwear researcher at the 2014 ISEA Conference.

Krzeminski’s projects included the performance areas of running, football (soccer) and apparel. He engaged in fundamental engineering across finite element analysis, method development, design concepts, and materials selection.

At Southern Miss, Krzeminski’s research focus is sports helmets, specifically on impact biomechanics and the materials comprising the helmet’s outer shell.

“It has been a great opportunity to experience how a worldwide brand conducts engineering to assist and drive product development, compared to the academic philosophy of my doctoral engineering experience at USM,” said Krzeminski.

Krzeminski is co-advised by Dr. Scott Piland, professor and director of the School of Kinesiology, and Dr. James Rawlins, associate professor in the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials. Lippa is co-advised by Dr. Rawlins and Dr. Trent Gould, associate dean of the College of Health and kinesiology professor.

“The doctoral process of the Sports and High Performance Materials Program at Southern Miss and the research rigor of my advisers, Dr. Piland and Dr. Rawlins, is why I am so prepared,” said Krzeminski. “The level of professionalism they demand of their graduate students has prepared me to conduct myself properly in a fast-paced, international environment.”

Krzeminski graduates with his Ph.D. in Sports and High Performance Materials on Friday, Dec. 11 and has a job prospect with a leading military helmet company. Lippa is set to graduate at the spring 2016 ceremony.

For information about the School of Kinesiology, visit www.usm.edu/kinesiology. For information about the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials, visit www.usm.edu/polymer.